Samantha's Reviews > The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World

The War for Kindness by Jamil Zaki
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First, thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book.

I had recently finished reading Sally Kohn’s book “The Opposite of Hate” so I couldn’t help but noticed the similarities between the two works. Jamil Zaki is a psychologist and the tone of this book echoes that fact strongly. While Kohn’s book was many times conversational in tone, Zaki’s book took on an academic tone from the start. He references many empirical studies on empathy (which can lead to kindness) throughout the book. While Kohn focused on combating hate within others and ourselves, Zaki focused on empathy and how we can influence it within ourselves and others and how it influences our behaviors. Zaki’s department studies empathy a lot so it’s not shocking that the book revolves around this topic. As the book progressed, Zaki divulged more personal experiences into the narrative and I felt that added a more pleasant reading experience when I can connect with the author. My favorite part of this work was in the Appendices. He went through every claim that he made in each chapter, including the introduction and epilogue, and rated the claim on the evidentiary proof or validity of the claim. Most or all of books in the social sciences have a list of references or footnotes containing where information cited is found. Zaki has this as well, but rarely do I read a book that provides this type of breakdown of his claims. I wish all books did this to be honest. I went in expecting this book to be uplifting and hopeful for the future of our society and it was in a way, but it is clear that it requires us to put more effort into making our future better. I would recommend this book to fans of Kohn’s book “The Opposite of Hate” and other books on the topic of kindness, empathy, combating hate, changing the combative discourse of the media and society as a whole and self-improvement books.

This review is also posted on my personal blog.
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Reading Progress

May 21, 2019 – Started Reading
May 31, 2019 – Shelved
May 31, 2019 – Finished Reading

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